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April 21, 1986 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-21

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ARTS
The Michigan Daily Monday, April 21, 1986 Page 5
Setting fire with Lloyd

By Joseph Kraus
FOR SOMEBODY trying to make it in the world of
main stream rock, Richard Lloyd has two strikes
against him: he's talented and he's intelligent.
The talented part is obvious when you listen to the for-
mer Television guitarist's current album Field of Fire.
Sidelined by a bout with drugs the last six years, Lloyd's
songwriting and guitar playing talents shine through the
mediocre production of a record available only as an im-
port.
The intelligent part takes a bit more looking, but it's
worth it. As one of the progenitors of the punk ethos, that
deliberate mocking of the traditional concept of rock and
roll stardom, his influence on contemporary rockers is
inestimable.
Acknowledging that influence, Lloyd commented on
some of the bands his mid '70s experiments inspired, he
said, "I find some of this hard core and the new American
guitar music to be almost reverse snobbism in terms of its
lack of craftsmanship.
"I'm not enamored of the fact that...people (in the '70s)
got the impetus to pick up instruments but, everybody and
everybody's brother thinks they've got something to say
to the world."
The reason, of course, that so many have tried to

duplicate what Lloyd and a handful of other proto-punks
were able to do is that it's one of the finest vehicle around
for harnessing rock energy. Heavy metal, and to a lesser
extent much of hardcore punk, are formulations of the
more innovative schemes of bands like Television and The
Sex Pistols.
Lloyd needs that sort of vehicle. "I have a lot of stored
up energy that I kept plugged up," he said, "It came out in
Television and all that, but I spent a lot of time not per-
forming...when I was given a chance to record, that
energy came out somewhat."
But Lloyd is not just a record maker. The music on Field
of Fire feels overly harnessed (as a result of Lloyd's own
production), but it promises to explode live. He added,
"With the band that I have now, and being straight all the
time, we were able to develop a real consistent high
energy quality."
That band is largely unknown, but seems a promising
crop of newcomers. John Klages (who just released his
own solo EP on Twin Tone) is on second guitar, Steve
Cohen on bass, and Ulf Sundquist, picked up during the
Field of Fire recording sessions in Sweden, is on drums.
Lloyd plays tonight at the Blind Pig. Catch him, because
if he ever gets over being so talented and intelligent, he's
got a strong chance of being a big star.

'Off Beat'

:

Forced but funny

Andrew Lippa as Frank Bailey weds Beth Spencer as Kathy Wainwright in "A Wonderful Life," the new
musical by Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposo.
.It's a wonderfiul show

By Lauren Schreiber
A WONDERFUL LIFE, an
original musical based on Frank
Capra's 1946 film classic It's a Won-
derful Life, made its world premiere
this weekend at the Power Center.
The book and lyrics were written by
Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner
Sheldon Harnick and music by
Grammy winner Joe Raposo. The
production featured students in the
University Musical Theatre Program
and it was directed by Brent Wagner,
director of the Musical Theatre
Program. If the University's produc-
tion is of any indication, A Wonderful
Life promises a long and successful
one.
The musical tells the story of Frank
Bailey, a young man who becomes so
troubled by his life that he attempts
suicide, only to be stopped by his
guardian angel.
Sheldon Harnick's book is an ex-
cellent adaptation of the popular film.
Though the plot sticks close to the
film's, Harnick adds enough changes
to make the story fresh and remove it
from being over-compared to the film.
Very seldom did one feel inclined to
compare the two, as both were enter-
~taining.
Unfortunately, Joe Raposo's score
does not match the lightness and wit-
tiness of his partner's lyrics. Of the
twenty-five musical numbers, I can-
not remember more than two, maybe
three melodies. It is not a show in
which one walks away singing the
music - not a good thing for a
musical. Though the score is good, it
is far from being outstanding; and
with the abundance of songs, quantity
524 E

by no means equals quality.
Fortunately, the singing was of top-
notch quality. The cast was super,
especially Andrew E. Lippa as the
hero, Frank Bailey, and Mark E.
Doerr as his not-quite-all-together
guardian angel, Clarence. A strong
tenor, Lippa also possessed great
stage presence, energy, and sincerity.
Doerr was simply wonderful and his
understated performance added a lot
of comedy to the show. Those who also
gave especially strong performances
were Beth Spencer as Frank's wife,
Kathy; Stephen Bryant as the town
villain and Jeff Schneiter as Uncle
Billy.

Tim Millett's choreography was
simple, effective, and well executed
by the actors. The set, designed by
David Leugs, was absolutely fabulous.
All that is needed to take A Wonder-
ful Life to Broadway is a bit of editing
in the music, and the addition of one
or two show-stopping numbers. As
Harnick is planning to do another
rewrite after the already successful
Ann Arbor production, it is quite
possible that the show will improve.
So for those of you who were too busy
studying for finals to come see the
show, perhaps you'll have another
chance if A Wonderful Life does make
it to Broadway.

By Brian Hall
TOUCHSTONE FILMS, which
has the dubious luck of
producing the non-G rated films for
Disney Productions, delivers
another goofy humor, feel-good
movie. This one is called Off Beat,
and like previous Touchstone suc-
cesses Splash and Down and Out in
Beverly Hills, it too seems destined
to draw large crowds across the
country.
Off Beat stars the low-key Judge
Reinhold who nearly stole the show
in Beverly Hills Cop, and Meg Tilly,
the young depressive in The Big
Chill. They each display some acting
skills, as both are constantly called
upon to rescue many a dumb line.
Adding to the cast, Fred Gywnne (of
Herman Munster fame) makes a
brief appearance.
Reinhold stars as Joe, the stan-

dard likable loser type, who has
never been quite good enough at
anything to get that big break in life
he has always dreamed of. He is
stuck in a dead-end job as a
librarian, his girl dumps him, and
his past failures haunt him.
Basically, his life is in a rut.
Through all this however, he
manages to keep his sense of humor.
Reinhold's lanky appearance and
dead-pan style are perfectly tailored
(unlike his clothes) for this role.
Joe finally decides that he must do
something to bring about a change in
his life. A chance arises when Joe
takes on his friend's identity: that of
Abe, a police officer. Abe is forced to
appear at some gala police officer
dance show but doesn't want to, so
naturally Joe takes his place. Makes
sense, right?
As Abe, Joe meets and instantly
falls in love with Rachel (Tilly).
Rachel is a beautiful, tough lady

cop. She too has feelings for Joe
(Abe) but is afraid to commit to a
relationship because he is a cop.
It may sound like a big deal, but
it's not really. The writers have
taken great pains to make sure that
no one watching will be the least bit
confused. In addition, Reinhold and
Tilly work well together, and this
adds a little more credibility to the
story.
The featured characters in Off
Beat are surprisingly well rounded
individuals, but everything *else
about the movie is quite predictable.
The audience is always one step
ahead of the film, and everyone
knows what will happen. The
predictability simply makes many
of the scenes easier to swallow, and
a great deal of the jokes funnier.,
Remember, this is all in fun.
Suspense and creativity are not an
issue.

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New York $458* $499t
Chicago $518* $559t
Balt./Wash. $48* $529t
Detroit $508* $549t
Orlando $518* $559t
Get in on our lowest fare to Europe in years. And with it, get a lot
more than just the trip over. Because, when you fly Icelandair, you get
everything you expect from a full-service airline, with no charge for
meals or baggage. Every fare includes free wine with your in-flight
dinner and free cognac after.
Icelandair Values Continue After You Land: Free deluxe, round-
trip motorcoach between Luxembourg and select cities in Germany,
Belgium and Holland. Special $15 train fares to Switzerland or France.
Super Saver Kemwel car rentals at just. $59 per week in Luxembourg.
And, if you choose, a day or two stopover in Europe's most beautifully
kept secret, Iceland.
*Super Bargain Fare, 6-30 day stay. tSuper Grouper Fare, 1-365
day stay. Valid 5/16-6/8/86, $3.00 departure tax applies. For
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Icelandair at 1/800223A5500
ICELANDA IRW

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*
CONTRA TULA TIONS
1986 COLLEGE GRADUATES
YOU'RE IN THE DRIVER'S SEAT
AT VARSITY FORD
Dick Cervi and Pat Maurer are handling the 1986 Graduates
Program ... and Ford Credit is offering qualified graduates
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Escort, EXP, Tempo, Mustang, Thunderbird, Aerostar, Bronco
"1, Ranger, and selected F-Series trucks. Plus, Ford Motor Com-

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